E. Godz is a novel about earth magic in its many guises. Edwina Godz was an independently wealthy flower child in the 60's who paid closer attention than most to her gurus and spiritual guides. Using the sharp mind and business acumen inherited from her father, Edwina started a holding company, E. Godz, Inc., for spiritual organizations, providing tax advice and administrative support. Along the way, she also had two children by different fathers, but found that her managerial talents were much stronger than her maternal instincts.
In this novel, Edwina is very upset that her daughter and son cannot stand each other. She has tried every trick and manipulation in her repertoire, but nothing has worked. Now she is down to her last card: she decides to die.
She sends faxes to Peez and Dov stating that her last medical checkup has uncovered an inoperable condition that will kill her within a few months. Since they cannot cooperate in managing the business, she has determined that E. Godz, Inc., and the bulk of her estate will be left to only one of them. Her decision as to her heir will be made as soon as possible.
Peez and Dov are electrified and fly off to round up support from the major subsidiaries of the company. They each visit the same people, but in reverse order: the witch, the Egyptian revival, the totem pole carver, the California cult, the Indian shaman, and the voodoo priest. Each carries a magical construct as a companion; Peez has her Teddy Tumtum and Dov has Ammi the amulet.
This novel is a quest for spiritual enlightenment for both parties. At first the subsidiaries are just accounts and statistics, but they begin to see some of Edwina's purposes in supporting these people. They also begin to become independent of their emotional security blankets; the laughing-out-loud funniest scene in the book is when Teddy gets thrown out the window of Sam's pickup.
This story is about character and love and spirituality and has little to do with action or even plot. Label it a spiritual coming of age or a finding your own inner self story, but the tale is about delving underneath the public persona to discover one's basic personality.
This is written by two authors known for their humor and it shows throughout the story. However, it is mostly quiet humor, with a touch of Jewish satire and some situational comedy. Teddy is pure Asprin, with a cutting wit reminiscent of Aahz the Pervect, but Edwina is pure Friesner, depicting a somewhat atypical Jewish mother (what mother is willing to confess to behaving like Edwina).
Since the authors are known for moralizing, it may not come as a shock that this story has a moral, but I am not certain what it is! Maybe that Mother Nature doesn't like siblings to quarrel with each other? In any case, the ending is quite in character with the rest of the story and satisfying to boot. Although I am still not sure what the squirrel has to do with anything.
Of course, none of the enjoyment I found in this volume excuses the authors from producing more of the Skeeve and Chicks books.
Recommended for Asprin and Friesner fans and anyone else who enjoys tales with quiet humor and self-enlightenment.
-Arthur W. Jordin